Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers
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Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers

Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Ronald J. Burke, Stacy Blake-Beard and Lynda L. Moore

In a changing world where women have dominated as graduates from universities in the West, recent research has shown that the same trend is also strikingly evident in the newly emerging markets. Tapping into this female talent pool is extremely important and advancing women’s careers has become a key business issue. This Handbook lays out a number of promising approaches. First the business case for doing so is presented. The challenges facing women are reviewed, followed by various programs that address particular needs such as mentoring, leadership development programs for women, work and family initiatives, and succession planning. Finally, case studies of award-winning organizational initiatives are described.
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Chapter 10: Glass networks: how networks shape the careers of women directors on corporate boards

Rosanne Hawarden


Career advice to promising young professional women in their early 30s should not only focus on their immediate advancement but should look 20 years ahead to their sunset career path. If pre-retirement career plans include directorships, then aspiring women professionals, particularly in law and accounting, need to take action early in their careers to ensure that board appointments in their late 50s are an achievable option. As most boards are heavily skewed to male directors, the limited governance opportunities for women mean that women directors will take longer to acquire comparable experience and become established in influential networks. The need for ambitious women to take a long-term view of their careers and to manage strategically the acquisition of governance skills through wide board experience is one of the implications flowing from recent research into the structure of director networks and the location of women directors in them (Battiston and Catanzaro, 2004; Hawarden, 2010; Hawarden and Marsland, 2011). Interest in director networks and the role of women directors in them has itself flowed from the small school of women on boards (WOB) research.

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